Our favorite TV star Tracy Morgan gets deep about his new book, his upcoming movie role and 30 Rock in this outtake interview from VIBE magazine.
Interview: Celia San Miguel
VIBE: A lot of people write memoirs but they don’t really say anything. They never go too deep. But you say a lot in I Am The New Black.
Tracy Morgan: Most people are born, they live, and they die. They never share nothing with nobody. They never give anything. They never give nobody hope. For me, that was inspiration. I had to share what I went through so the next person could do it and they could say, “There is hope for me.” Most people are selfish.
You’re absolutely right about that.
They’re selfish. They never give nothin’. I could be one of those artists that you just see the façade. I could be one of those artists where everything looks perfect. But that’s people puttin’ makeup on me. That’s people dressin’ me. But what happened to you in your real life? I wanted to let people know who I was. We’re trained to hide when we become famous. Like, “You can’t let anybody know who you are.” Or, “You have to be pretentious. You have to put on airs.” And I’m not with that.
Have you heard any input from your family as far as the book?
No. I hope they read it. Maybe they understand what I went through. Nobody can ever know what you go through. Nobody! Not your parents, not your brothers, nobody. Nobody can know what it’s like to walk a mile in your shoes.
How long were you working on the book?
It took two years. It was painful. It was joyful. There were good memories. There were bad memories. That’s all it was. This is me. This is me coming into my manhood. There were times when I couldn’t go on. We would start a chapter and I couldn’t finish it. I couldn’t finish it. You have to understand: I’m a 40-year-old Black man. Two hundred pages is not enough to tell you who I am and what I’ve been through. That was just the tip of the iceberg.
What was the hardest to write about?
My parents. My father dying. That was my father. My mom being a broken woman by having her first child be a cripple. And seeing all that. Seeing my loved ones hurt. That hurts me now! I’m doing well, but I still have people that are close to me who aren’t. And money won’t change it… I’m a person. I’ve been through things. And then when I put it down on paper, people are so amazed ‘cause they’re not used to the truth. ‘Cause we’re taught to hide and to be dishonest first because that’s a survival mechanism. My father never raised me that way. He said, “Stay honest, man.” And when you own it, man, no one can hurt you with it. I own all of it: the good, the bad, and the ugly. Like Mike Tyson. You saw that Tyson documentary [Tyson]?
He owned everything. He owned everything except that Desiree Washington thing. That’s how I know he didn’t do it. Why would he own everything and not that?